The Baltic or the Baltic is a Mer intracontinentale of 432 800 km ² located in the north of the Europe, and connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the the North Sea. Two principal gulfs integrate this space: the Gulf of Bothnia in north and the Gulf of Finland in the east.
the countries which border the Baltic are:
- the Denmark in the west;
- the Sweden in the North-West;
- the Finland in the North-East;
- three Baltic States (the Estonia, the Latvia and the Lithuania) and the Russia (with Kaliningrad and in the Gulf of Finland) in the east;
- the Poland and the Germany in the south.
GeographyIn the past proglacial lake, and thus not attached to the world ocean of the time, the Baltic becomes a sea when the glaciers which oppressed the reliefs surrounding it withdrew and allowed the rise in the grounds around (by a phenomenon of isostasy, i.e. a long time oppressed grounds are concerned in a movement lever when nothing any more oppresses them). Then created for themselves both Belts (Large Belt and Petit Belt). The Baltic joined the world ocean, and became salted then. But all that is today under water it was not at the time, and remains today a glacial landscape simply covered with a rather thin water film, the Baltic not being a very deep sea. This phenomenon of isostasy causes also the appearance of “gardens of shelves” or Skjaargaard . In fact tiny small islands are organized in groups and which appear with time. One also attends the appearance of real islands. For example in 130 years, 130 new islands appeared at broad town of Vaasa (Finland). This increase of the grounds and its consequences in the Baltic pose problems of navigation. The Baltic is formed large basins (basin of the Mer of Bothnia, in the North of the islands of Åland in particular) connected to each other by thresholds of Haut-fond S, and islands (islands of the Denmark and Åland). Its maximum depth is of 459 m in the pit West-Gotland, off the island of Gotland and close to the Latvian coasts.
Its surface is of 450 000 km ², and this by counting the Kattegat.
See also: Sea water
The tide weak (approximately 30 centimetres) or is masked by the climatic oscillations (hydrodynamic cuttlefish, waves of storms).
The Baltic is a little salted sea (10 per thousand compared with 35 per thousand in the remainder of the seas). Indeed, the fresh water contributions of the rivers are important and natural evaporation is only equal or a little higher than direct precipitations. The annual variation of the Salinité represents negative river modes. In other words, at the time of the low water level of the rivers, in February, the salinity of the sea is maximale ; whereas it is minimal when the rivers have a strong flow, in May, with the snow melt. In a general way, water of the East and surface is more slightly salted (straits danois : 10 ‰, gulf of Botnie : 5 ‰).
The thermal amplitude of water is importante : in summer 16°C in the South, 12°C in the gulf of Botnie ; in winter, the ice-barrier recovers the bottom of the Finland and Gulf of Bothnia, as well as many coasts, overall all that is in the north of the island of Gotland off Stockholm.
Marine dynamismThe currents largely undergo the effects of the wind. In a general way, they follow a sinistral movement, i.e. in the opposite direction of the movement of the needles of a watch. The current skirting the Scandinavian peninsula leaves the Baltic towards the North Sea. It is current of surface slightly salted. It reaches its maximum flow in spring. More salted water coming from the North Sea enters to the Baltic thanks to a deeper current which skirts the southernmost coasts.
The thresholds slow down the renewal of water and the rehandling of the funds. Indeed, it is necessary nearly thirty years to ensure the total renewal of water. The living beings (vegetable and animal, of which the Plankton) either do not communicate much with the other seas. These thresholds support, during most of the year, the deceleration of the current thermohalins. Impoverishment in fauna and flora of the sea can be explained by this stability but also by its rate of salinity (certain species do not support absolutely salt and cannot live there, while other species which do not live why out of salt water cannot live there either). One counts indeed less than one hundred species living in the Baltic (approximately 84) against more than 1500 in the remainder of world water. The absence of swell and currents facilitates the filling of the basins, indeed, below 10 to 20 m the fine particles are incorporated and accumulate in the muddy depressions.
History and environment
PrehistoryThe Baltic is the youngest sea of planet. Its birth is associated with the cast iron of the Scandinavian Inlandsis, there is 15 000 with 8 000 years. Protected from the oceanic influences, it undergoes strong thermal variations. In winter, the gulfs of Bothnia and Riga are taken by the ice-barrier. In summer, the temperature of water turns around 15°C.
Before the 20th century
The Baltic is a closed sea, which explains why its environmental quality is very related to its history. It was an important battle field at the time of the First World War and at the time of the Second world war, which have both left environmental after-effects and serious histories. Not only of many ships ran there with their toxic loads of ammunition, but after these two wars, of the hundreds of thousands of tons of conventional shells and chemical gathered in Europe was there immersed.
They are then the coastal rivers of the Baltic States which bring a considerable Pollution, in particular of agricultural and industrial origin, including radioactive, before the cloud of Tchernobyl does not fly over and contaminates this zone. Many livers and kidneys of fish and marine mammals exceed the contents considered acceptable for several heavy metals, one finds many pollutants organic in their flesh. The Baltic contains a dead Zone among most important in the world, which was made in less than 10 years in the area of the Skagerrak.
Commission “HELCOM” manages the the Helsinki Convention, aiming at the protection of the Environnement for the zone of the Baltic, associating the Baltic States in this objective. Its mission is equivalent to that of the Commission OSPAR which treats, it, of the North-western Atlantic. These two commissions work to evaluate the extent of the problems arising from the not exploded ammunition immersed.
Bordering countriesdetailed Article: Country of the Baltic
The bordering countries of the Baltic are (in the alphabetical order):
Coastal townsThe bordering population rises to 85 million inhabitants approximately.
Most important coastal towns, by many inhabitants:
- Saint-Pétersbourg (Russia) - 4 700 000 inhabitants
- Stockholm (Sweden) - 743 703 inhabitants (agglomeration 1 823 210)
- Helsinki (Finland) - 559 700 inhabitants (agglomeration 980 000)
- Tricity (Poland) - agglomeration of 977 000 inhabitants, including/understanding:
- Gdańsk (Poland) - 462 700 inhabitants
- Gdynia (Poland) - 255 600 inhabitants
- Sopot (Poland) - 39 400 inhabitants
- Rīga (Latvia) - 760 000 inhabitants
- Szczecin (Poland) - 410 600 inhabitants
- Świnoujście (Poland) - 44 600 inhabitants
- Kaliningrad (Russia) - 400 000 inhabitants
- Tallinn (Estonia) - 387 200 inhabitants
- Malmö (Sweden) - 259 579 inhabitants
- Kiel (Germany) - 250 000 inhabitants
- Lübeck (Germany) - 216 100 inhabitants
- Rostock (Germany) - 212 700 inhabitants
- Klaipėda (Lithuania) - 194 400 inhabitants
- Turku (Finland) - 174 906 inhabitants
- Liepaja (Latvia) - 87 000 inhabitants
- Pori (Finland) - 76 000 inhabitants
- Kotka (Finland) - 55 000 inhabitants
- Kołobrzeg (Poland) - 50 000 inhabitants
- Ventspils (Latvia) - 44 000 inhabitants
- Visby (Sweden, Gotland) 23 000 inhabitants
Islandsdetailed Article: List of the islands of the Baltic
- islands of the archipelago of Åland (Finland)
- the island Gotland (Sweden)
- the island Öland (Sweden)
- the island Saaremaa (Estonia)
- the island Hiiumaa (Estonia)
- the island Bornholm (Denmark)
- the island Rügen (Germany)
- the island Usedom (divided between the Germany and the Poland)
- the island Wolin (Poland)
Tributary riversAmong the rivers throwing itself in the Baltic, are (in the direction of the needles of a watch starting from Öresund):
Rivers of Sweden
- Svartån (with Svarte close to Ystad)
- Tommarpaån (with Simrishamn)
- Helgeå (with Nyehusen close to Kristianstad)
- Hemån (with Karlskrona)
- Ljungbyån (with Ljungby close to Kalmar)
- Channel Göta (with Mem close to Söderköping)
- Motala ström (with Norrköping)
- Stockholms ström (with Stockholm)
- Dalälven (with Gävle)
- Indalsälven (with Sundsvall)
- Ångermanälven (with Härnöset)
- Umeälven (with Umeå)
- Skellefteälven (with Skellefteå)
- Luleälven (with Luleå)
- Kalixälven (with Kalix)
- Torne älv (with Hapareta/Torneå)
- Rivers of Finland
- Fleuves of Russia
- Fleuves of Estonia
- Fleuves of Latvia
- Rivers of Lithuania
- Neman (in Silute)
- Russia (Enclave of Kaliningrad)
- Pregolya (with Königsberg/Kaliningrad)
- Rivers of Poland
- Pasłęka (with Braniewo)
- Nogà (between Gdańsk and Elbląg)
- the Vistula (between Gdańsk and Elbląg)
- Radunia (with Gdańsk)
- Reda (close to Wejherowo)
- Leba (in Lebsko Lake)
- Slupia (with Ustka)
- Wieprza (with Darlowo)
- Parsęta (with Kołobrzeg)
- Rega (Mrzeżyno, close to Kołobrzeg)
- Odra (in German Oder , with Szczecin)
- Rivers of Germany
EconomyThe Baltic is not very full of fish, and in a general way of flora and fauna the poor. That is due to the phenomenon of Eutrophisation.
With the the Middle Ages, powerful the Hanseatic League was established around the Baltic.
With the fall of the the USSR, new sea routes opened. Today, the Baltic integrates European space into whole share. It is furrowed permanently by two thousand ships, that is to say 15% of the world ocean freight. The Golfe of Finland thus became a great loader-gate of Pétrole (20 million ton S in the years 1990, more than 100 million tons in 2005) because of the presence of Saint-Pétersbourg, large exporting Russian oil port.
- Baltic Space
- Country of the Baltic
- dead Zone
- Northern Europe
- List of the seas and oceans
- After-effect of war
- immersed Ammunition
- Photographs in Chałupy a balneal port in the north of Polish Gdańsk
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